Learn The Japanese Words of Foods

The Japanese language is very broad, but when you dedicate yourself to learn the words and phrases one by one, you’re soon going to achieve that perfection. But of course, this requires a lot of time and patience for you to learn it well.

When we go to Japan on vacation or for traveling purposes, the most common place we want to visit will always be their food chain. Either in the Japanese famous restaurants, food streets or the home you visited, you are having difficulty in communicating, unless you are already an expert in the Japanese language! Sometimes it’s even a hassle for you to always look on your Japanese translation book or a translation app on the phone everytime you want to convey something.

Both native and borrowed words are used in Japanese food items. Some, even called using the English-derived terms which is easier than the native ones. Below, I’m gonna show you some common terms of food in Japanese version.

Have fun!

Vegetables (やさい – Yasai)

Kana Romaji English





azuki mame

azuki beans


にんじん ninjin carrots
セロリ serori celery
レタス retasu lettuce
キャベツ kyabetsu cabbage
トマト tomato tomato
ねぎ negi green onion (scallions)
たまねぎ tamanegi (round) onion
ポテト poteto potatoes
ブロッコリー burokkorii broccoli
ピーマン piiman bell pepper, green pepper (Fr. piment)
まめ mame beans (in general)
ピース piisu peas
コーン koon corn

Fruit (フルーツ – Furuutsu)

Kana Romaji English
りんご ringo apple
ぶどう budou grapes
なし nashi Japanese pear
ようなし younashi (western) pear
かき kaki persimmon
オレンジ orenji orange
レモン remon lemon
ライム raimu lime
グレープフルーツ gureepufuruutsu grapefruit
バナナ banana banana
いちご ichigo strawberry
ブルーベリー buruuberii blueberry
さくらんぼ sakuranbo cherry
メロン melon green melon (honeydew)
すいか suika watermelon

Drinks (のみもの – Nomimono)

Kana Romaji English
みず mizu water
おちゃ ocha green tea, tea in general
にほんちゃ nihoncha Japanese green tea
むぎちゃ mugicha Japanese iced barley tea
こうちゃ koucha black tea (lit. “crimson tea”)
コーヒー koohii coffee
ぎゅうにゅう・ミルク gyuunyuu/miruku milk
ジュース juusu juice
オレンジジュース orenjijuusu orange juice
レモネード remoneedo lemonade
ソーダ sooda soda, pop
おさけ osake sake (rice wine), alcohol in general
にほんしゅ nihonshu Japanese sake
ワイン wain wine
ビール biiru beer

Rice, Noodles, Bread (こめとめんとパン – Kome to Men to Pan)

Kana Romaji English
こめ kome rice (uncooked)
ごはん gohan rice (cooked)
げんまい genmai brown rice
うどん udon udon (wheat noodles)
そうめん soumen somen (thin noodles)
そば soba soba (buckwheat noodles)
ラーメン raamen ramen (Chinese noodles)
パン pan bread, rolls, pastries
かしパン kashipan sweet bread, pastries
ピザ piza pizza

Japanese Food (わしょく- Washoku)

Kana Romaji English
すし sushi sushi (sweet vinegared rice with raw seafood, in various shapes)
さしみ sashimi sashimi (thinly sliced raw fish over sushi rice)
てんぷら tenpura tempura (battered and fried vegetables and seafood)
やきとり yakitori yakitori (grilled chicken skewers)
やきにく yakiniku yakiniku (grilled beef and vegetables)
やきざかな yakizakana grilled fish
やきそば yakisoba yakisoba (fried noodles, usually udon or ramen-like, with ham/sausage and vegetables)
すきやき sukiyaki sukiyaki (too difficult to explain here)
おこのみやき okonomiyaki okonomiyaki (“Japanese pancakes”, with meat or seafood and vegetables inside)
とんかつ tonkatsu fried pork cutlet
カレー・カレーライス karee/karee raisu Japanese curry with rice
コロッケ kurokke croquette (fried mashed potato patty with meat/seafood/vegetables)
ぎょうざ gyouza Chinese style fried dumplings (potstickers)
みそしる misoshiru miso soup (miso is a soy-based paste)
つけもの tsukemono Japanese pickles


I hope these are helpful for you in learning some basics. It’s not everything, but it’s better to have something than nothing. (LOL) Anyways, thanks for reading and have a great day!